Trip insurance

My parents are in decent health but 91 and 92. I'm scared to book our $10,000 trip in September and have something come up with them to make us have to cancel. Does anyone have experience with trip insurance and should we consider it. Will it cover this sort of trip cancellation?

Posted by Anna
Lawrenceville, Georgia
693 posts

I'll let someone else reply about cancellation insurance but want to remind you that you will likely need medical insurance for them and perhaps for you, that covers repatriation - sending them back home if necessary and, this may sound indelicate, also covering sending home someone who dies overseas. There are several companies who issue this kind of insurance; American Express is one of them. They cover existing conditions, however, there must be no new symptoms or medications for approx. a six-week period before coverage begins. The premium is very reasonable, about $15/month; this can be cancelled after your return.

Posted by Andrea
Portland, OR, USA
22 posts

To clarify, they are not traveling with us. Just want to make sure if something happens to them right before the trip, we don't lose all.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
12904 posts

Of course you should consider it. At that age, who knows. But with all insurance it is in the fine print. You can buy different types of policies covering different events. All travel insurance is not same. A good starting point is or The more that you cover the more expensive the policy. You can only insure your potential loses. For example, if you have prepaid a hotel for $1000 and there is no refund, then your lost is $1,000 but if the refund penalty is $100 than you have only lost a $100. Cannot claim $1000. So a $10,000 trip may only have $5000 in non-refund so that is all that you can insure. Again, read the fine print three times.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
12904 posts

Ah !! the advantage of additional knowledge. Not all policies will automatically cover that so you need to ask questions. Also the question is what would you do if they became seriously ill while you were traveling. These are not standard coverages for standard trip insurance but it is available.

Posted by Andrea
Portland, OR, USA
22 posts

We will be booking air right away for $3000 + that's the piece that is the most daunting if we should need to abort.

Posted by Andrea
Portland, OR, USA
22 posts

Honestly, I don't think we would abort once we are already over. Other family members can cope. :)

Posted by Donna
Cleveland, OH
618 posts

Andrea, I had to cancel a trip last September due to my father's sudden illness and hospitalization. I had to get a statement from the doctor and complete some paperwork but the company refunded everything I asked for (airfare, the non-refundable part of the trip payment, a train ticket and event ticket that I had already purchased). I used Travel Guard.

Posted by Jeff
Bend, OR, United States
1161 posts

Anytime there is a significant prepay you should get trip cancellation insurance.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
2844 posts

You are indeed a brave soul. It must be nice to have such good genes. My parents traveled until their early 80's, but it was always on organized tours with 20 of their best friends. Anyone that's on Medicare needs outside insurance whenever they leave the U.S. That includes travel in Canada. And the coverage needs to cover special medical transportation back home. The older you are, the more expensive the coverage. My wife's Medicare Supplement will also not cover ailments outside the U.S. I contacted Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, and they said that I am covered by healthcare anywhere in the World. By all means, get trip insurance.
There are many websites that explain travel insurance. Some are more medical health insurance, and others place emphasis on other things like medical transport and cancellation if something happens where the travel has to be cancelled.

Posted by TC
723 posts

Andrea, the one time we had to submit a claim to Travel Guard we were very pleased with the results. Could not have asked for better response. They do have several tiers of policies that cover different things so be sure and look at all of them. TC

Posted by Steve
Gaston, Oregon, USA
902 posts

Andrea, for our trip to the EU this May/June I had some special trip insurance requirements, that I could not readily locate going thru the list of available plans/companies that Squaremouth offered. I called them, while I was on-line, and they patiently walked me thru all of the options, and then let me make my decision after they had signed off. I really like their service, and prices!

Posted by Elaine
Mission Viejo, Calif., USA
823 posts

We would never go on a trip outside the U.S., without travel insurance. We use American Express travel insurance. You call the office two weeks before your trip. Your start the insurance at that time. That gives you time to receive your paper work. Then when you return, you call and cancel the insurance. It is very reasonable. There is also "Insure My Trip". U.S. medical insurance (including Medicare) isn't covered outside the U.S. We have heard of way too many stories where people get sick, or one died. The man who died had just arrived in Paris. He died at the airport. By the time the wife got his body returned to the U.S., it cost her $50,000. Yes $50,000.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8404 posts

Elaine isn't exactly right. Some US medical insurance DOES cover you while abroad. My employer's insurance (now my retiree's insurance) does cover me wherever. I do, however, take out additional med evac insurance through Divers Alert Network for $35 a year.

Posted by Sasha
Bainbridge Island
1970 posts

If you want trip cancellation insurance to cover the airfare, you must buy it soon after paying for the tickets. You can't wait until two weeks before departure. The price will be based in part upon their age. And be sure you cover the full cost of any non-refundable expenses.

Posted by Bruce
Whitefish, Montana
881 posts

My health insurance covers us when overseas, but I purchase additional coverage (e.g. medical evacuation).

Posted by Elaine
Mission Viejo, Calif., USA
823 posts

I need to clarify what I said earlier. MEDICARE and individual Blue Cross policies do not cover people outside of the U.S.

Posted by Laura B
San Francisco
862 posts

And to further clarify ... some Medicsre supplemental insurance (coverage F) covers emergency medical costs outside the U.S. But for trip cancellation, read the fine print very carefully before you sign up to see what would be covered if your parents had an incident that caused you to want to cancel.